The Otter Vale, through the lens of Baxter Bradford.
Do you like the new photos of the Otter Vale on our home page and social media? So do we! They are the work of the talented and local photographer, Exmouth-based Baxter Bradford. We are beyond chuffed to be sharing Baxter’s images with you. Those of you who follow us know that genuine relationships and supporting local are so important to us here at Otter Vale, so let us tell you more about who, how and why.
Our family’s history of making food in the Otter Vale goes back 50 years this year. In 1969 Mr Otter Vale’s grandfather, Seymour Laxon, began making Budleigh Salterton Pâté to a secret recipe. The Laxon love affair with Budleigh and the River Otter continues to this day, and we’d love to show you what’s so special about this part of Devon. Once you see it, we’re certain you’ll understand why Otter Vale is proud to support the Westcountry Rivers Trust alongside the Devon Air Ambulance Trust throughout 2019, our 40th anniversary of our original product, Devon Chutney – known to its friends as “onion and pineapple”.
Now, we’re pretty good at making lovely things, even if we do say so ourselves. But we recognise our limitations elsewhere. Mr. Otter Vale is pretty handy with a camera when he lets his sensitive side show, but we can’t do the area justice with our snapshots. He and Mrs. OV are big fans of the work of a number of of extremely talented landscape and wildlife photographers in the South West, and just over a year ago, Mrs. OV was particularly taken by one image of the mouth of the River Otter.
We love where we live; we love being outside, and are fascinated by the sea, the coastline, the waterways, the countryside and the moors. However, we aren’t ashamed to confess to a certain bias. We are particularly partial to images of the River Otter and Budleigh Salterton, and as Mrs OV was busy working (her way through Instagram) one day, she chanced upon one of Baxter’s photos. So she looked at another, and another, and well; she was hooked. His subject matter of the River Otter, Budleigh, the coastline and the sea resonated/suited our biases and after considerable banter on line, we met up for a chat. Mr. Otter Vale is slightly concerned that Mrs. OV might have stalked Baxter on Instagram; but she swears that’s not the case!
If you’ve not seen the work of Exmouth-based Baxter, you are missing out. Go straight to his website, dive in and enjoy. They say you should never meet your heroes, but we’re so glad we did – he is otterly lovely, otterly modest and with a wicked sense of humour! A retired maths teacher and engineer, he is a professional photographer and when not found at some ungodly hour with a camera in hand, you might spot him kitesurfing off Exmouth.
Baxter has recently created three calendars to showcase some of his work around Budleigh Salterton, East of Exe, and Exmouth. We’re delighted to be in proud possession of a number which we can display at work and at shows, to help explain what’s so special about our roots in this East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Baxter shares our passion for the natural beauty of this area, and we are so honoured to be able to use his stunning images on our website and social media to promote our environment and community. We look forward to sharing more photos with you throughout the year, and are otterly indebted – thank you Baxter!